6 Nov 2008

58 jobs lost in Christchurch factory closure

7:28 pm on 6 November 2008

The garment and textile manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin says it has to close its Christchurch textiles division to stay competitive.

Lane Walker Rudkin has announced that it plans to relocate the textiles division to its plant in Otara in Auckland, with the loss of 58 jobs.

The company says a handful of new jobs will be created in Otara.

Lane Walker Rudkin's chief executive, Malcolm Walkinshaw, says it was not an easy decision to make.

Mr Walkinshaw says the company is consulting with staff before making its final decision next week, but he believes there are compelling reasons to consolidate fabric manufacturing at a single site.

The National Distribution Union's textile secretary, Maxine Gay, who represents the workers, says the announcement came as a shock.

She says the union had just finished 12 months of negotiations with Lane Walker Rudkin for a collective agreement, and the proposal to move to Auckland was never mentioned.